The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 9, 2012

Driver charged with 3 counts reckless murder in fatal Limestone wreck

— A Decatur man has been formally charged with three counts of reckless murder and one count of felony assault in a traffic accident last year that killed a Limestone County mother, her daughter and one grand-child and seriously injured another grandchild.

Patrick Alan Turlington, 21, of 306 Harold Drive, was arrested Thursday on warrants following his indictment by a Limestone County grand jury. He was released after posting an $85,000 bail on three counts of reckless murder and one count of first-degree assault, records show.

Turlington is accused of causing a wreck on Alabama 20/Alternate U.S. 72 just east of the Hudson Memorial Bridge causeway in Decatur on June 1, 2011.

According to investigators, Turlington was westbound on 20, heading into Decatur, in his red Chevrolet Cavalier, when he crossed the grass median and struck the driver’s side mirror of an eastbound GMC truck driven by Christopher Scott King, 43, of Hazel Green. King was able to swerve and avoid injury. However, Turlington’s car then struck an eastbound 2001 Chevrolet driven by Michelle Colley, 48, of 21385 Alabama 20 in Tanner. Colley and her 22-year-old daughter, Mary Jane Mills, who lived with her mother, were declared dead at the scene. Another passenger in her vehicle, Shyanne Michelle Elder, 4, of Tanner, died later at Huntsville Hospital. A third passenger, Kendal Jay Mills, 2, also of Tanner, was airlifted along with Elder to Huntsville Hospital.

Turlington was treated at Decatur General Hospital and released.

The accident occurred about 4:10 p.m. in Decatur annexed portion of Limestone County. Colley and Mills lived in a small green house just off Alabama 20, only a few hundred yards from the accident site, according to Trooper Curtis Summerville, public information officer for the state patrol.

Both women were e wearing seat belts and both children were in car seats when the wreck occurred, according to the accident report.

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